Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
A 35-year-old Zimbabwean and a Chinese national (28) who were recently arrested by South Africa’s organised crime unit , the Hawks for illegal possession of dried abalone worth nearly R10 million will make a formal bail application tomorrow (Friday) at the Atlantis Magistrates’ Court, in Western Cape province.
Lawrence Muroma and Qing Quan Feng were found in possession of 70 boxes of dried abalone on May 16.
Trading of abalone shellfish, which is regarded as an endangered species, is prohibited in most SADC countries.
The shellfish is a unique type of snail and is often referred to as the sea ear because of its flattened shape. This type of seafood is considered a delicacy in Asia.
Hawks spokesperson for Western Cape Ms Zinzi Hani said the two have been charged for possession and transporting of illegal abalone in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998.
“The two accused persons remain in custody,” said Ms Hani.
“They were arrested after members of our Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Crime
Intelligence, and officials from the Department of Environmental Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) acted on information concerning the transportation of illegal abalone”.
She said two accused persons were travelling in a Hino truck and a white Audi along the N7 highway and heading towards Malmesbury.